Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Video games and mental health - II

Following an earlier study of problematic gaming in young children in Singapore researchers from Yale School of Medicine have been looking into the effects of video games in older children. They surveyed 4,028 adolescents about their gaming and behaviour. 51.2% played video games, 76.3% of boys and 29.2% of girls. For most boys there were no negative consequences of playing the games and they were even linked to a decreased likelihood of smoking. However, among girls gaming was associated with getting into serious fights and carrying a weapon to school. A small percentage of the sample (4.9%) admitted to having problems cutting back on their gaming with boys being more likely to say this than girls. In this group problem gaming was linked to regular cigarette smoking, drug use, depression and getting into serious fights.

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